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Stayin' In

OPB | May 22, 2008 midnight | Updated: Sept. 10, 2013 8:41 p.m.

In the Pacific Northwest we have a reputation for making the natural environment a part of our cities, politics, livelihoods and free time. Oregon and Washington are ideal places to trek out into the wilderness, and learn about nature.According to our guest Chris Havel, from Oregon’s state Parks and Recreation Department, the state’s parks continue to have a consistent flow of visitors. But the parks are not luring new visitors, in proportion to our increasing population.

Recent statistics from the National Park Service show a steady nationwide decline in visits to federal parks, from 287.1 million visits in 1999 to 272.6 million recreation visits in 2006.On Thursday’s show we are discussing how Oregonians experience the outdoors?if they experience it at all. Are we, as our guest, Richard Louv, argues in his book Last Child in the Woods, suffering from “Nature Deficiency Syndrome?” What, on the other hand, do we really gain from being outside?

Do you spend less time outside than your parents did? Do your kids spend time outside or do they prefer television or computers? Are you afraid to let them go outdoors alone? Do you wish state parks would adopt the amenities of a resort, or do you prefer something minimal like a fire pit and some trails signs?

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